I’ll punish you by starving my own people!

From today’s Open Europe news summary:

EUobserver reports that Russia has retaliated against the signing of a new trade treaty between Moldova and the EU, by banning the imports of processed beef, horse meat, lamb and pork from Moldova.
Who suffers here?  Of course the Moldovans lose a customer, but one can assume that they will sell their food products to someone, perhaps even themselves.  There will be a temporary glut of these food products on the Moldovan market, so one can expect prices to fall until more lucrative external markets are found.  The real losers here are the Russian people, who no longer can purchase these food products.  Their standard of living will decline as they spend more on substitute products or do without.  I doubt that the Russian leaders care anymore about their people’s plight than did America’s leaders in boycotting Iranian oil.
Patrick Barron
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